A much cheaper alternative to buying a sat nav is to use Google Maps on your smartphone to give you directions.

The app can provide your route, live traffic warnings, share directions and even give you the option of avoiding motorways.

[Read more: Learn how to create and share Google Maps lists with your friends and family]

How to use Google Maps as your sat nav 

Download Google Maps from the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iOS. Once it’s installed on your phone, make sure your location services are turned on for Google Maps in Settings.

In Google Maps, type your destination on the search bar at the top and click Search.

Then click Directions at the bottom of the screen. Depending on where you’re going, the next page may ask you to make your directions more specific. For example, searching Gatwick Airport, prompts you to specify which terminal.

Your route will then appear on the map with a predicted time and distance at the bottom of the screen. There could be various options depending on traffic - the fastest will be highlighted in blue and the others in grey - click on a grey line to make it your preferred route.

Google Maps

To see the breakdown of your journey, click Steps and this will bring up a road-by-road guide of the map. To return to the map click Map at the top of the screen.

If you want to send directions to a friend or family member click the three horizontal dots in the top right-hand corner and click Share directions. You will then have the option to email, text or share on social media.

Google Maps

You can also set a reminder to leave by clicking on the step below Share directions and picking your time and date.

Once you’re ready to go, click Start and the phone will start speaking your directions for you.

When you're mid-route you can click the magnifying glass to find nearby Petrol stations, restaurants, supermarkets, coffee shops or search for what you fancy.

Google Maps

Remember to use your smartphone sensibly when on the road and buy a smartphone holder for your car so it can act as a sat nav without distracting you from the road.

[Read more: Take a trip to Victorian London with Google Maps]